As an artist, most folks are intimidated to attend a workshop with me, or create in the same room as me. But I promise I don’t bite. I’m a human, and trust me I know not everyone is an artist by trade. However, I think that humans are inherently creative. In todays social patterns and with how technology has changed every day life, not many people find the time to get creative in a relaxing or even stimulating way. Here are some tips from “outside the box” on how you can assist your creativity to come to the surface.
1: Curiosity didn't kill that cat, chill out.
Being curious is something I thrive on when I’m brainstorming. I may not even be brainstorming something related to art, but asking questions, being interested in a subject, learning something new, that is a mindset that can help your creative brain survive. Think of your curiosity as your creative hiking buddy. Each can hike on their own, but when they are together its much more fun.
2: Unleash your scribble liberty.
“SCRIBBLE LIBERTY!” It’s probably not something you need to google, I heard it on an animated kids show, but I felt myself shouting along. I interpret this as your need to scribble. Be messy. Let your scribbles and lines have their own identity as such. This is to help you break down the pressure to “be good” or to quiet that perfectionist. Great activities to help with this are doodling in the margins or on post it notes, making a zentagle (you can google that one), or even taking time with a coloring page.
3: Hobbies aren’t just for old ladies
As an artist I thought for a long time that whatever I made could be marketable. But then I lost out on the hobby side of things. The relaxing art, the art that didn’t have to have a solid concept, the art that literally didn’t have to mean anything, the art that didn’t have to be “good enough” it was just to keep my hands moving. I’m an artist by trade, but embroidery is something I do as a relaxing activity. It’s a hobby. Writing for me is a hobby, playing my ukulele once a month for 20 minutes is a hobby. But they all bring me joy with no pressure. If you’re “doing a hobby” that has you clenching your butt half the time—you might want to brainstorm a little more. Look for local workshops at your community center to try something new, or have a wine date with that one friend that likes to draw.
4: Real life inspiration!
Forget the screens. Your phone, TV, computer. Get off pinterest and instagram. Getting inspiration from real life is something that feels so much more satisfying than seeing a cute DIY project online. Don’t get me wrong, there is a special time and place for DIY projects. However, getting inspired by what’s around you gives you a special connection to it that no screen can simulate, not even in VR. Find a way to get outside! Go for a walk and listen to the birds! Use that gift card from Christmas but make an whole day of it in the city! Go observe! Visit the museum or the aquarium, or go the library! When was the last time you took a drive just to take a break from your every day routine? Creativity can be fueled by emotion, so pay attention to your feelings when you do this. Its as much about you as it is about what you’re out exploring.
5: Hello inner critic!
Goodbye inner critic.
Gone fishing, do not disturb, not even vibrate, turn that thing on silent! We often forget that critique comes after you’ve made a work of art, not during. Or at least that’s how it is in art class. Stop treating your inner critic like a plus one, and start treating as your doctor. How often do you consult your doctor when you’re being crafty or creative? Yeah that’s what I thought. When you’re ready for an artistic appointment with that inner critic, you’ll know who to call. But for now, let them eat cake and sit in the back seat.
Studio Dodge has been in business since 2013. Dani Dodge, the owner, brings life to watercolor illustration, humorous comics, and feminist artworks in her studio. Dani is also passionate about how art can collide with business through graphic design, event posters, and even hand painted signage. She currently works form her in home studio in West Seattle, where she is constantly trying to keep dog hair out of her paints.
Studio Dodge has been in business since 2013. Dani Dodge, the owner, brings life to watercolor illustration, humorous comics, and feminist artworks in her studio.
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